The following article is reproduced from the Pearls and Irritations website, with thanks.
The author is a former British police officer who worked for an Australia-based multinational security company for 17 years. He has lived, worked, travelled extensively and studied in China for the past 18 years, where he now works as a freelance writer.
Apparently, in 2017, China incarcerated between one and five million Xinjiang residents … except there’s no logistics to provide for the movement and incarceration of this many people, so that was impossible.
Wild allegations disproved time and again
When those claims were discredited, they softened the allegations, but 150 million tourists a year went to engage with local culture and eat local foods, and they saw that the local language and the religion of Islam were widely practiced, so it wasn’t ‘cultural genocide’ either.
The claims were next diluted to ‘forced labour’, except some of the world’s biggest companies work there: Germany’s Volkswagen; USA’s Skechers; Japan’s Uniqlo; France’s SMCP; and Spain’s Inditex, which owns Zara, have all investigated – and some have been investigated, but no evidence has been found.
One of the world’s largest apparel companies, Hong Kong-based Esquel took this matter to the US supreme court. Hilton and Marriott Hotels, KFC, McDonalds and many more US brands operate without any issue and employ people in accordance with their own standards and in line with local laws. The world’s biggest agricultural machinery company, John Deere, not only operates there, but business is so good that it started a joint venture in China in 2020 in order to “capitalise on this important and rapidly expanding marketplace”.
So, the story was changed again, from forced labour in Xinjiang to the wider distribution of forced labour in other Chinese provinces. And, once again, when that allegation was investigated, it was found to be referring to a normal migrant worker programme benefitting Xinjiang by providing better-paid jobs in eastern Chinese regions so money could be sent home. The Cowestpro papers did an excellent job of debunking this.
The hype machine v reality
These allegations are so widely reported that it doesn’t matter what the supreme court says, it doesn’t matter that the evidence has been debunked, it doesn’t matter when diplomats from 21 countries visit in 2021, or religious and political leaders from 32 muslim countries visit in 2022, or even eight African countries in 2023 … and all say they’ve seen no evidence.
Because it’s on every news channel, it must be true – except, as they all know, it isn’t.
What he has said, and the United Nations agrees with him, is that Taiwan is a part of China, and that China will defend its property. He has said that China won’t accept another period of humiliation like that of the Qing dynasty, when Hong Kong was taken by the British and more than 40 foreign concessions were seized by nine different countries.
Talking of Hong Kong, we were widely and credibly informed that China would send troops there in 2019, but it didn’t. We were told the ‘freedoms and democracy’ were taken from Hong Kong; except they weren’t. China has broken the Joint Declaration, media reported, but it haven’t according to British barrister and Hong Kong’s former top lawyer Grenville Cross, who wrote an open letter to the then prime minister Boris Johnson to let him know how widely misinformed he and his advisors were.
I urge everyone who has any interest in the well-being of Hong Kong to read this letter to understand how misinformed they are about the true situation in the region, where more democracy now exists than at any time in its history. The success is so widely recognised, both by the vast majority of Hong Kongers, and by the people of the mainland, that Xi Jinping suggested on the 25th anniversary that ‘One country two systems’ would endure beyond the 50 agreed years.
What is all this hysteria really about?
So, if China isn’t persecuting Uyghurs, if it isn’t threatening Taiwan, if it hasn’t removed any of the rights or freedoms from Hong Kong’s residents … what is it actually doing wrong?
It may be sending balloons the size of circus tents over America but, let’s be honest, if it was doing that to spy then it’s the stuff of a Marx Brothers comedy skit. But there are probably millions of Americans who believe it; many of them were encouraged out of the basement to shoot at it.
What China is doing, is growing. Growing in influence, growing in trade, growing in economy, growing in wealth, growing in every aspect of technology, medicine, education and lifestyle – and, yes, in order to protect these improvements, it has grown in military power too – a defensive military power.
It may have militarised some atolls in the South China Sea, but, unlike the USA, it doesn’t have 7,000 troops and occupy 30 percent of the land in Guam. China doesn’t have nearly 30,000 troops in any of its neighbouring countries, as USA has in south Korea. Nor has it colonised any Asian country with 80,000 troops and 125 active bases like the US bases in Japan.
This is another of the great disinformation campaigns: the ‘military expansion’ of China. A country that hasn’t invaded in a generation and works closely with the USA in Djibouti, the only overseas base China actually has.
China isn’t fortifying Gwadar Port in Pakistan, as alleged by some media. Nor is it, as suggested in think tank reports, providing military aid to the Solomon Islands. In fact, the agreement with the Solomon Islands specifically excludes military aid.
What China is doing is building world-class infrastructure. Forty-two thousand kilometres of high-speed rail with 1,100 stations criss-cross the country. China has lifted 800 million people out of poverty in the last 40 years.
China has improved the air and water quality to the point that, where there was once smog, there are now blue skies. Where people once said it was hard to find wild animals in China, they now abound, from the protected and rarely seen wetland birds in Jiangsu, to rare whales off Guangdong, to Asian elephants wreaking havoc in Yunnan, from leopards in Shenzhen to Tigers in Heilongjiang. These ecological changes say more about a country than teams of western economists can.
For a real perspective on China, try looking at some Chinese media – and then watch what China does. In every case so far, what China said it would do, is what it actually did.
Another rule of thumb I adopt is to look at what western media says is happening in China and then assume it’s a deflection from what really happens somewhere else. It usually is.